PERSECUTION & Let your enemies “bring out the best in you, not the worst.” Matt. 5:43-46 #TheMessageBible

“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.”

Matthew 5:43-47 MSG

http://bible.com/97/mat.5.43-47.msg

PETER ON LEADERSHIP & “I have a special concern for you church leaders…”

“I have a special concern for you church leaders. I know what it’s like to be a leader, in on Christ’s sufferings as well as the coming glory. Here’s my concern: that you care for God’s flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously. Not bossily telling others what to do, but tenderly showing them the way.

When God, who is the best shepherd of all, comes out in the open with his rule, he’ll see that you’ve done it right and commend you lavishly. And you who are younger must follow your leaders. But all of you, leaders and followers alike, are to be down to earth with each other, for— God has had it with the proud, But takes delight in just plain people.

So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.”

1 Peter‬ ‭5:1-7‬ ‭MSG‬‬
http://bible.com/97/1pe.5.1-7.msg

SERVANT LEADERSHIP & Jesus’ definition and His illustration.

“When the ten others heard about this, they lost their tempers, thoroughly disgusted with the two brothers. So Jesus got them together to settle things down. He said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.””

Matthew‬ ‭20:24-28‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Read more at … http://bible.com/97/mat.20.24-28.msg

POOR & Paul’s words about them, fashion and bi-vocational ministry …

“I’ve never, as you so well know, had any taste for wealth or fashion. With these bare hands I took care of my own basic needs and those who worked with me. In everything I’ve done, I have demonstrated to you how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You’re far happier giving than getting.’”

Acts‬ ‭20:33-35‬ ‭MSG‬‬ http://bible.com/97/act.20.33-35.msg

PRAYER & “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need.” – Jesus

Luke‬ ‭11:10-13 MSG‬‬, Jesus says …

“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in.

If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate?

If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider?

As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?”

Read more at … http://bible.com/97/luk.11.10-13,23.msg

COMMITMENT & “If you’re not helping, you’re making things worse” – Jesus

Luke‬ ‭11:23‬ ‭MSG‬‬, Jesus said:

“This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse.”

Read more at … http://bible.com/97/luk.11.23.msg

 

ADDICTION & A corrupting spirit says, ‘‘I’ll go back to my old haunt.’ On return, it finds the person swept and dusted, but vacant.

Luke‬ ‭11:24-26‬ ‭MSG‬‬, Jesus says:

“When a corrupting spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn’t find anyone, it says, ‘I’ll go back to my old haunt.’ On return, it finds the person swept and dusted, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits dirtier than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse than if he’d never gotten cleaned up in the first place.” ‭‭

Read more at … http://bible.com/97/luk.11.24-26.msg